Approximately 70 tractors and 3,500 individuals gather for a protest in Tenerife demanding fair agricultural incomes

A convoy of about 70 tractors and agricultural vehicles paraded through Santa Cruz de Tenerife on Saturday, as 3,500 people rallied in protest against the common agricultural policy and called for fair incomes to secure the future of food production.

The protest was organized by various associations including Asaga Canarias, COAG Canarias, Agate, UPA, ASPA, PALCA, and AEGIL, representing farmers and ranchers in the region. Some participants even brought livestock such as goats, sheep, cows, and a camel.

At the culmination of the demonstration, Ángela Delgado, president of Asaga Canarias, delivered a manifesto outlining the sector’s key demands, with the primary focus on denouncing the increasingly restrictive and limiting Common Agrarian Policy.

The agricultural sector urged the European Union and the Spanish Government to ensure fair competition by enforcing identical standards for domestic and imported products, particularly concerning quality, food safety, and environmental regulations.

Additionally, they called for enhanced inspections at ports and airports for imported goods, as well as halting the maritime transportation of goods between Fuerteventura and the port of Tarfaya in Morocco due to the associated risks of introducing pests, diseases, and banned substances into the European market.

Farmers demanded the enforcement of the Agri-Food Chain Law to secure reasonable prices and to strengthen their bargaining power in the market.

Another key request was the amendment of the General Subsidies Law to relieve the burdens imposed by the Late Payment Law that adversely affects primary sectors.

Addressing the government bodies, agricultural organizations called for the promotion of hydraulic infrastructure projects and the continued use of treated water to sustain the quantity and quality of this vital resource amidst the ongoing extreme drought conditions, without engaging in political confrontations, as emphasized by Delgado.

They also appealed for expediting the processing of aid applications through enhanced digitalization within the administration to ensure swift disbursement and prevent undue financial strain on producers.

Other demands include revising the amounts and cost references for POSEI aid to accurately reflect production expenses, introducing new support measures for endangered native breeds in livestock farming under POSEI, and promoting local forage crops.

Urgent actions are requested in the banana sector to address the crisis resulting from excessive 2023 production and plummeting prices, which may involve restructuring aid schemes, limiting new plantations, and capping eligible production per hectare for subsidies.

Streamlining bureaucratic processes and enhancing administrative efficiency were also highlighted as necessary improvements to support the agricultural industry.Ways to Avoid Delaying Investments in Agriculture Sector

Recognising the significance of agriculture in the ecosystem, the agricultural sector is calling for the establishment of a clear timetable for the implementation of regulations governing agricultural and complementary uses, as well as the Agricultural Land Management Guidelines (DOSAs).

Furthermore, there is a demand for a strategy to manage organic materials and initiatives to support grazing. A compensation scheme is also sought for the environmental role played by the agricultural sector. Strengthening the connection between agriculture, the restaurant sector, and hospitality industry is also a priority, promoting the consumption of local products through tax incentives for such establishments.

Ángela Delgado insists that progress is being made in meeting the sector’s demands, stressing the importance of integrating young people into agriculture, sustaining rural populations, and securing a prosperous future for agriculture and livestock in the Canary Islands, preserving their landscapes and traditions.

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